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DOI

Theoretical and laboratory research suggests that phenotypic plasticity can evolve under selection. However, evidence for its evolutionary potential from the wild is lacking. We present evidence from a Dutch population of great tits (Parus major) for variation in individual plasticity in the timing of reproduction, and we show that this variation is heritable. Selection favoring highly plastic individuals has intensified over a 32-year period. This temporal trend is concurrent with climate change causing a mismatch between the breeding times of the birds and their caterpillar prey. Continued selection on plasticity can act to alleviate this mismatch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages304-306
JournalScience Magazine
Journal publication date2005
Volume310
Issue5746
DOI
StatePublished
Peer-reviewedYes

ID: 90306